Cheryl Seal
Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:30

My question: Will this prove to be a "bait and switch"? I.e., Miers pathetic nomination was floated only to create a temporary news diversion and point of debate and to make it easier, through "nomination debate fatique" for Bush to foist someone worse off on the Court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Thursday accepted the withdrawal of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, according to a statement from the White House.

In her letter to the president, Miers said she was "concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and its staff and it is not in the best interest of the country."

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House -- disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said.

"Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers -- and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he respected Miers' decision and looked forward to working with the president to quickly picking a new nominee.

We remain ready to fulfill our duty to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees," the Tennessee Republican said. "And the Supreme Court still awaits its next justice -- a highly qualified nominee who is committed to upholding the Constitution and who believes in the limited role of a judge to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench."

Miers, 60, was nominated earlier this month by President Bush to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the high court. (Profile)

Bush's decision to nominate Miers, his White House counsel and a longtime adviser, had divided his supporters, many of whom wanted a nominee with a clear record of opposition to abortion.

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan had dismissed the suggestion that senators were reluctant to come out in support of Miers because they are unimpressed with her as a nominee.

"I think you're seeing a lot of members of the Senate saying, 'We want to hear what she has to say in the hearings,' before they make a judgment," he said.

"With Harriet Miers, there are many in the Senate that simply did not know her previously, although she is widely respected within the legal profession."

Senators had hoped to begin confirmation hearings the week of November 7.

CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

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